Saturday, August 27, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Today is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, and this year also marks 100 years for Acadia National Park. In honor of our wonderful parks system I'd like to share a few favorite photos.
on the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park ::
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:20 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Watching the construction of the new Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery was interesting and relatively easy since there were piers right next to the bridge where I could stand. Now the middle bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery is the construction target, the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge.
It crosses a section of the river where there is little access (for me) to stand and watch.
The old bridge was scheduled to remain open until November 1, 2016. That changed on Sunday when there was a mechanical failure of the lift bridge. From a press release on the Maine DOT Sarah Mildred Long Bridge web site:
Repairs were estimated to cost in the $1,000,000 price range so a decision was made to close the (old) bridge now, leaving the lift section in the "up" position.
The mechanical issue in the south bridge tower was discovered on the morning of August 21. Engineers were able to lift the bridge to the “up” position at about 1:00 am on Monday, August 22 to accommodate marine traffic. By keeping the bridge in this position, federal law, which requires a bridge to be accessible to marine traffic at all times, is adhered to.
The old bridge was a motor-vehicle-only place, no sidewalks and no bicycles allowed. Knowing that the bridge was closed I thought I'd risk a visit on foot. I was able to walk on the now closed bridge, sharing the space with two construction vehicles carrying two workers. It was interesting to see the work in progress.
This bridge carries both a road and railroad tracks, with the tracks below the road surface. I've found it interesting that the pictures I've seen of the proposed structure show the road connected along the lift section but show the railroad tracks open. After wandering a bit on the project's web site I found this listed under key attributes:
That's very interesting, isn't it?
With a larger 56’ vertical clearance in its “resting” position, there will be 68% fewer bridge openings. In the normal operating, “resting” position, the bridge’s lift span is at its middle level, allowing motor vehicles to cross the river. The new bridge’s movable “hybrid” span lifts up to allow passage of tall vessels and lowers to railroad track level for trains to cross.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to walk along the ocean and along inland waters.
The entire beach closes on April 1st each year to support the nesting season of endangered piping plovers and least terns. The biologists determined that most of the protected birds are finished with the beach for the season, with some tern chicks hanging out near the lot 2 boardwalk, a few off of lot 1, and one chick a bit south of lot 3. Yesterday the beach was reopened from just north of lot 3 to the southern tip of Plum Island with some fencing added to protect the chick south of lot 3.
I arrived at Parker River this morning about an hour before low tide, leaving my car at lot 3, following the boardwalk to the beach. I walked south, listening to the sound of the ocean, looking at the water, at the shape of the beach, at the sand dunes heading inland. I watched sea gulls and sandpipers walking near the water's edge. I looked up to see sea birds flying.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:32 PM
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016
Wednesday morning I watched two butterflies flit around the garden, happily feeding on flowers. Not happy with seeing only two of these beautiful creatures, I headed to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, MA.
Standing in the conservatory surrounded by butterflies is wonderfully relaxing.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:06 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Monday, August 15, 2016
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Following some of the canals in Lowell felt like a good afternoon activity. My first stop was at the Lowell National Historical Park visitor center to pick up some maps. Next it was time to walk.
There was a free-standing wall along a canal, a remnant of an old building, that was wearing colors in the windows. I had to stop for a bit of camera play before heading out for my walk.
I plan to return on another day for a longer walk following both canals and rivers.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 11:03 AM
Thursday, August 11, 2016
I read an article in the Boston Globe today about a proposal to move Massachusetts to Atlantic Standard Time. It's funny, I was sure that I had seen this (or a similar) proposal before.
A search turned up a proposal to move Maine to Atlantic Standard Time in 2005. Clearly that failed. Next I found an article from 2014 suggesting that Massachusetts switch time zones. It hasn't happened yet.
Today's article, Is it time for Mass. to move to a new time zone?, indicates that a task force to study if Massachusetts should leave Eastern Standard Time behind was included in an economic development bill that was signed yesterday.
I've always thought that the Eastern Time Zone in the northern part of the country was too wide. And switching between daylight and standard time doesn't make sense (to me). The new proposal apparently is to move the state into Atlantic Standard Time and to forego the switch to daylight time. That means our time would match that of Eastern Time when daylight time is in effect and would be an hour ahead during the standard time months. I wonder if Atlantic time is in our future.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 4:02 PM